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Tale of 'Beauty and the Beast' comes to Greenbrier High School stage

Posted: April 11, 2015 - 11:13pm
Hunter Walsh and Rachel Duncan rehearse a scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. For more information, call (706) 231-1759.  Special
Special
Hunter Walsh and Rachel Duncan rehearse a scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. For more information, call (706) 231-1759.

Rachel Duncan likes playing a strong female lead.

“I like the character of Belle,” said Duncan, a 13 year-old who is playing the role in Musical Theatre Workshops’ production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, April 18, at Greenbrier High School. “She’s brave, and she’s strong. I love that about her character. She’s my favorite Disney princess.”

Director Mickey Lubeck has produced several of
the Disney musicals through her studio, but she had waited to do Beauty and the Beast.

“I’ve loved the story of Beauty and the Beast for a long time,” she said. “I was waiting for the right cast. You need strong actors and singers for this.”

Lubeck said she’s almost hesitant to tell people Duncan’s age, but despite being so young, Duncan has the strong voice needed to carry the part.

“Rachel Duncan just blew me away at her audition. I thought ‘This is Belle,’” she said.

Playing opposite of Duncan is Hunter Walsh, a 15 year-old Greenbrier High School student.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve had to dive into what makes him tick – the loneliness and isolation.”

With the character of Beast, it’s not just how well he can sing or deliver lines; the way the character moves is vital to the part.

Lubeck, who spent many years touring with the musical Cats, said she’s been able to draw from that experience in directing Walsh.

“I’m trading the catlike movement in for something more doglike,” she said. “The beast is a combination of a bison and bear, but his movements are canine.”

And as the show progresses, Beast succumbs even more to his curse so the movements become increasingly more animal than human.

Tickets to Beauty and the Beast are $12 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for children under 5 years old. For more information, call (706) 231-1759 or visit www.onwiththeshow.biz.

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